Koules of Potamoi Dam

Koules in Potamoi dam near Rethymno
Koules in Potamoi dam near Rethymno
Koules in Potamoi dam near Rethymno

The Koules of Potamoi Dam, one of the numerous small forts built by the Ottomans in the 19th century after 1866 to maintain control over the Cretan hinterland, is located on a hill overlooking the Potamoi Dam reservoir on its western side.

The region it is situated in, north of Patsos in the Amari Valley, served as a crucial passage to the Rethymno prefecture’s interior. The area just above was home to the most ferocious Ottomans, the Ambadiotes. The Ottomans fortified this major passage, which led to the Messara Plain through small offshoots. Within the Potamoi valley, there were Koules in the areas of Prasses, Potamoi, and Patsos.

This rectangular fort, measuring 25m x 8m, still overlooks the Potamoi Dam reservoir. Although its exterior walls are partially preserved, the interior has collapsed. The Koules of Potamoi Dam has been officially designated as a preserved monument and is listed in the Permanent List of Declared Archaeological Sites and Monuments.

Key Points

  • Construction Period: 1866-1869
  • Location: West of the Potamoi Dam reservoir, Amari Valley, Rethymno, Crete
  • Dimensions: 25m x 8m
  • Historical Significance: Part of the Ottoman defense network in Crete, controlling a crucial passage to the Messara Plain.
  • Current Status: Partially preserved, listed as a preserved monument.
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Ottoman period

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